Hong Kong Regulators Hint Plans To Review Crypto Rules

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Hong Kong is taking a measured approach to the regulation of cryptocurrencies, with the city’s financial secretary Christopher Hui emphasizing the need for ongoing review and adjustment in response to market developments. 

Reviewing Crypto Rules is Appropriate 

The financial treasury chief mentioned at a parliamentary questioning that the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will remain vigilant and adaptive in its approach to crypto regulation. Recognizing the dynamic nature of the cryptocurrency market, the SFC is committed to monitoring trends and developments closely. This proactive stance aims to ensure that regulations remain relevant and effective in addressing emerging risks while supporting the growth of the sector.

Christopher also mentioned that authorized firms or registered entities can offer cryptocurrency-related products after informing the authorities, and they are not required to seek changes to their licensing terms.

Hong Kong Regulation and Crypto 

There have been some changes in Hong Kong’s Regulatory environment for crypto exchanges with the February 29 deadline, one of the crucial milestones. The regulatory authority was clear that any platform failing to comply with licensing requirements is expected to cease operations by the end of May.

Experts say it is a reflection of Hong Kong’s commitment to ensuring regulatory oversight. Interestingly, in 2022, Hong Kong was adjudged the most crypto-ready nation globally given its digital asset regulations and taxation rules, the number of blockchain startups, and the number of crypto ATMs, amongst other indices.

Similarly, Dr.Han Lin, the founder of Gate Group, referred to Hong Kong as a hub and a global strategic market because of its “industry-leading regulatory system.”

Collapse of Exchanges in Hong Kong

Despite a clear regulatory framework, unauthorized crypto exchanges have created a problem in Hong Kong. In 2023, JPEX and Hounax, two of the largest crypto exchanges in the region, collapsed amidst allegations of Ponzi scheme operations. Investors suffered significant losses, with an estimated $180 million lost in the JPEX scandal and $18.9 million in the Huonax.

It is important to note that the city has taken a balanced approach when it comes to the regulation of digital assets, acknowledging the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies while addressing associated risks.

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